Court flays failure to verify if notices had been served on respondents Justice S.M. Subramaniam of the Madras High Court has passed a judicial order calling for an explanation from its Registry for not having taken steps to verify whether court notices had been served on the respondents, even in cases that were pending for over a decade, and to get the cases listed for completion of the process. It was during the hearing of an Appeal Suit pending since 2007, the judge found the court to have ordered notices in the case on April 11, 2007.


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HC piqued over Registry delaying disposal of cases

Legal CorrespondentCHENNAI 08 DECEMBER 2019 00:52 ISTUPDATED: 08 DECEMBER 2019 00:52 IST


 
 
 
 
Court flays failure to verify if notices had been served on respondents
Justice S.M. Subramaniam of the Madras High Court has passed a judicial order calling for an explanation from its Registry for not having taken steps to verify whether court notices had been served on the respondents, even in cases that were pending for over a decade, and to get the cases listed for completion of the process.
It was during the hearing of an Appeal Suit pending since 2007, the judge found the court to have ordered notices in the case on April 11, 2007.
Thereafter, the Registry had not taken steps to ascertain whether the notices had been served and list the case before Joint Registrar or Deputy Registrar for completing the process.
‘Many irregularities’
When many lawyers complained to the judge about their cases too, he recorded it saying: “Members of the Bar made submissions that in a large number of such cases, the verification of batta and issuance of notice are not monitored by the Registry of the High Court and there are so many irregularities in following the rules. Even the acknowledgements and proof of service filed by the respective learned counsels are not properly put up with the case bundles resulting in great hardship both to the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the parties as well as to litigants interested in getting early disposal of their cases.”
The grievance of the advocates was that the Registry did not follow the codified procedures and there was enormous delay in getting the cases listed before the Joint Registrar or Deputy Registrar to ensure payment of batta and serving of notices to the respondents. Sometimes, the cases do not get listed at all, they claimed.
Taking serious note of it, the judge said: “In many cases, the High Court Registry is not following the rules regarding the issuance of notices and verification of completion of processes and thereafter list the matter before the court. On account of these lapses, negligence and dereliction of duty on the part of the Registry, a considerable length of judicial time is wasted.
“The courts are made to verify these processes and notices and the respective learned counsels are also requesting for frequent adjournments on the ground that the notices are either not served or no records are available or the case papers are not maintained by the Registry properly in accordance with the Rules in this regard.”
Observing that the Registrar General as well as Registrar (Judicial) must initiate “serious action” regarding the lapses on the part of the officials concerned, the judge called for a report by December 20 to enable him to pass further orders on the issue.

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